The seedlings I started a few weeks ago have been growing in the greenhouse, and it’s now time to start getting them planted in the greenhouse and cold frame beds. I’ve got lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro, mizspoona and a bit of kale ready to go. These plants will hopefully give us greens to eat during the fall and winter months.
Before I start planting I have to get the beds ready. Today I ripped out the basil plants from cold frame bed #1. They got zapped by the recent freeze, so it was off to the compost bins for them. I added a bucket of compost and some all purpose fertilizer and forked it into the soil. That’s going to be home to lettuce this time around. I have four cold frame beds, and I try to rotate things around so I’m not growing the same veggie (or family) there every year.
Right next the spot I prepared, I have arugula (Speedy and Apollo) growing in cold frame bed #2. It was planted back in summer and it’s getting a little spindly now, but it’s still edible. We had some on pizza the other day and it was tasty. I’ll cut it and bring it in before I do the bed prep there. That bed is going to get mixed greens, including kale, mizspoona and a new green I am anxious to try called Highland Kale. It’s really not a kale, or a mustard, but a variety of Brassica carinata I got from Artisan Seeds. It’s supposed to be cold-hardy and grow throughout the winter, with a taste reminiscent of lacinato kale. I started those seeds later than the rest, and they need another couple of weeks before I plant them.
The spinach is ready to go now, but I still need to work up the beds for it in the greenhouse and in cold frame bed #3. I have had good luck the last few years with starting spinach in flats and then setting it out for overwintering. I get great germination that way, much better than when I direct seed this time of year when temps are typically too warm. I haven’t direct seeded spinach in several years now, come to think of it. I also wind up buying less seeds that way, since the germination rate is high. I’ll thin to one seedling per cell before I set the plants out.
I moved several containers of plants in the greenhouse to protect them from the frost, including five peppers plus a lemon verbena and a lemongrass plant I dug up from behind the greenhouse. After the cold snap last week, it turned warm again with no forecasts of frost or freezing weather. So it’s a shuffling act for me this time of year as plants go in and out of the greenhouse. Eventually the container peppers will wind up in the basement under grow lights, but for now they are basking in the sunlight.
With rain forecast this coming weekend, I hope to finish up as much outside work as I can in the next two days. I can work in the greenhouse any time, even if it is raining!